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Set yourself apart as a leader

Posted on Wednesday, Oct 14, 2015

Picture of young leaders

As the youngest candidate for Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is getting a lot of attention - positive and negative. We'll have to see whether Canadian voters think he's the right man for the job, but either way he has set himself apart as an engaged, enthusiastic potential leader. How can you do the same in your job?

Base your leadership on respect
Transitioning into a leadership role at a young age isn’t easy. Managing colleagues who are older and more experienced than you can be tricky. Earning their respect and pacifying any jealousy they feel are things you must address early on.

Communicate often, but listen more

In your first couple of months try to listen more than you talk. You will never know everything about a company or a job until you immerse yourself in it, particularly if you do not have experience on your side.

Listen to and appreciate the challenges of others who have been in the business longer than you have – their expertise will be vital to your success. You can also gain the respect of your team by taking a genuine interest in each of them. If you give them the time of day then they are likely to return the favour.

Maintain your enthusiasm
Some colleagues may be cynical by your enthusiasm and feel that they have ‘heard it all before’. To tackle this, show respect for your colleagues’ ideas and encourage collaborative working. This is the most crucial step in your journey to being a recognized leader.

Stay curious
Great business leaders remain successful decades on because they have remained curious. I’m thinking of people like Bill Gates and Richard Branson, who are tireless in their hunt for the latest innovations in technology, ensuring their skills are always relevant.

Keep an eye out for developments that relate to your role. Knowledge of the latest trends can not only help your business grow, but will also help you be seen as a fountain of knowledge from which others can learn.

A final thought
The process of becoming a leader is one of organic growth that requires constant development, no matter what age you are. If you approach your new opportunity in the right way, you will soon see that you don’t need decades of experience to inspire and lead others.

What does it take to become an executive in Canada? Find out in the Hays DNA series.

Make your next career move: Search opportunities in your area

Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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